If you’re getting ready to move, or if you currently have a cabin or condo sitting stagnant most of the year, you may be able to earn a considerable profit by renting it out. Travelers are increasingly turning to private home rentals instead of hotels as a way to escape the hustle and bustle and also to save money. Thanks to web-based rental companies, people are more likely to look online themselves and make a decision based on property location and condition along with available amenities. Here are some tips on how to get your home noticed.
Draw of Austin
According to Turnkey, Austin has quickly established itself as one of the hottest cities to visit in the United States. Whether it’s the annual South by Southwest festival, the Austin City Limits music festival, the area’s gorgeous lakes, or the draw of the UT Longhorns, there’s a little something for everyone in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” With so many different ways to experience the city, your rental could put your guests within a short distance of the activities that catch their eye, making you a compelling choice over the competition.
A business with regulations
Before you get ready to prep your home as an income property, you should know that there are steps required to make your rental legal. First, you’ll want to register with the local authorities. Since you will be considered a business, you may also be required to obtain a business license, and you will have to collect and pay taxes on any money you make. Double check with your city’s zoning commission and codes department to make sure that your building meets minimum building and housing standards and that there are no restrictions that would thwart your plans.
Opening the doors
Once you are cleared for business, you’ll want to make your vacation rental as appealing as possible. This starts by providing an immersive experience. A beach rental will garner more attention if it’s light and airy with plenty of natural light and a view of the ocean or ocean-themed art. If you are starting from scratch, plan on giving your rental a modern coastal design. This includes making each room functional with only the furniture and accessories needed for your maximum number of guests to be comfortable. Stick with neutral colors with a few complementary accents throughout.
Even more important than your overall design scheme is the cleanliness of your rental. Many vacationers will gladly look at a slightly dated home or condo, but few will be forgiving of dirt and debris. If you plan to clean it yourself, get comfortable dealing with the details. Beds should always be made neatly and with fresh linens, bathrooms must be impeccable as even a single stray hair will make most people uncomfortable, and the floors should be clean and stain-free. Pay special attention to your coffee maker, says Alanna Schroeder of the Disgruntled Guest.
Speaking of the coffee maker, you will also need to outfit your rental with amenities that make your house feel like a home. And yes, a coffee maker is important. If you plan to cater to families, include bunk beds for the kids and a few games and books to entertain visitors of all ages. No matter what you choose to put into your condo, or how you choose to decorate it, don’t misrepresent what is available. False or doctored information can leave more than a bad impression on renters, who will likely be more than happy to let others know about missing amenities in the form of a bad review.
Finally, don’t forget to add measures to protect yourself from bad renters. Security cameras and a security system can help keep an eye on your property while you’re away and can serve as proof if your home is damaged in case of the dispute.
Considering there’s a good chance you can easily recoup your mortgage and much more each month, there’s very little reason not to rent out your home or condo. Make sure to cover the legal aspects of starting your own vacation rental business, and keep your eye on the details. A comfy couch and a clean condo can go a long way toward making a good impression on your guests.
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